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REVIEW: WizKids Games DC HeroClix Rebirth Expansion Set

Review and photos by Scott Rubin

Hey HeroClix players and collectors, welcome back to our continuing coverage of the best miniatures game on the market.  It’s been a little while since the last set featuring characters from the DC Comics universe, but now is the time for “Rebirth!”  The DC HeroClix Rebirth expansion is upon us, based on the 2016 relaunch of DC Comics and featuring its new heroes, villains, and designs for existing characters.  Rebirth also includes killer sub-themes like the Justice League, Justice Society of America, Teen Titans, Deathstroke’s Defiance, Justice League of China, the Dark Trinity, and so much more.  There’s even the debut of the different evil Batmen from Dark Nights: Metal in the set’s chase collection!  We’re really excited to show you not just a brick’s worth of figures from Rebirth, but every single figure from the entire expansion.  Whether you’re a hardcore comic book collector who read everything in Rebirth or a casual fan of Batman, a HeroClix expert or someone just looking for unique collectibles to play with and display, read on to check out the full set!


Let’s break down the set starting with the figures you’ll see most often in the boosters, the commons.  The set starts off with Deathstroke, a character prominently featured in the Rebirth era.  This is close to his classic appearance, but stay tuned in later rarities for some very different versions of the character.  Wilson is backed up by his children Jericho (Joseph) and Rose Wilson in their Defiance versions along with the modern Terra.  Next up are a couple more heroes making their highly anticipated debuts in HeroClix: Kid Flash (Wally West III) and Power Girl (Tanya Spears)!  Commander Steel is on hand to rep the Justice Society, while the Teen Titans recruit Nightwing, Aqualad (Jackson Hyde), and CyborgDuke Thomas of We Are Robin supports Gotham City figures and appears as the first Prime figure in his persona of The Signal.  Deathstroke’s wife Adeline Kaine and Prez Rickard are some singular additions, while we see the beginning of other sub-themes here with Deimos of Godwatch, Justice League of China’s Super-Man, and Wonder Woman of the Justice League and the Trinity.


The uncommons start with another Deathstroke, this time leading his Defiance team; at this level are his teammates Kid Flash and Power Girl utilizing the same sculpts as their common versions but in the white and black.  Jericho and Rose (this time as Ravager) reappear in Teen Titans costumes along with a classic Terra and even Titans Reborn Tempest.  Justice League members Steel and Batman are here, with the former sharing a slot with Prime version Citizen Steel of the Justice Society.  That team also adds the modern take on Mr. Terrific and Billy Batson as designed by the 2017 HeroClix Team World Champions.  Veronica Cale, Phobos, and Colonel Poison round out the Godwatch team, The-Flash supports Justice League of China, and Artemis begins the lineup of the Outlaws.


There isn’t a Deathstroke in this set’s rares, but there are continuations of several main themes.  Teen Titans get the biggest boost with modern Superboy, Beast Boy, Bumblebee, and RavenCyclone of the Justice Society makes her HeroClix debut, and she plays nicely with Shazam (designed by 2017 HeroClix World Champion Howard Brock) and his Prime Black Adam.  The Justice League is here with The Flash and a bearded Aquaman, the latter sharing the Atlantis keyword with DolphinRed Hood leads the Outlaws old and new, and the Bat-Man of China fights crime with his Robinbot.  At this rarity level are a few unique figures with Orphan of the Batman Family, Lana Lang Superwoman of Metropolis, the Isis to Black Adam Adrianna Tomaz, Lady Vic of the Secret Six, and Shade, the Changing Girl.

super rares

Look who’s back in the super rares…  It’s Deathstroke, kitted out with the Speed Force as you’ve never seen him before!  The Justice League gets some big guns with Superman, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz in her HeroClix debut, and Lex Luthor with Apokolips armor.  The Prime version of the Man of Steel is Bizarro of the Outlaws, and Starfire does double duty with that keyword and the Teen Titans, also shared with Damian Wayne Robin (along with his pal Goliath) here.  Wonder-Woman rounds out the Justice League of China roster, and then we’ve got some interesting characters from various places.  Flex Mentallo of the Doom Patrol appears in HeroClix for the first time, as does the mysterious Kryptonian Mister Oz and Black Canary of the DC Comics Bombshells as begun in the Harley Quinn and the Gotham Girls set.  Finally, Clayface in the Rebirth era was an ally of Batman and gets his Family keyword, and Black Manta appears to menace Aquaman.


That just leaves the chases, and in Rebirth WizKids gave us something truly cool with the villains of the Dark Nights: Metal mini-series that began in 2017.  From various Earths in the dark multiverse came the alternate versions of Bruce Wayne and Batman known as the Dark Knights, all references to Justice League characters.  In order they are The Red Death the speedster (Flash), mechanical The Murder Machine (Cyborg), Green Lantern Corps member The Dawnbreaker, Bryce Wayne the Batwoman of Earth -11 known as The Drowned (Aquaman), the Ares-like The Merciless (Wonder Woman), The Devastator infected by the Doomsday Virus (Superman), and finally The Batman Who Laughs (a hideous amalgamation of Batman and the Joker).  They are joined here by the big bad of Metal, the dark god Barbatos himself!


One interesting thing to note about the Rebirth set is that there are no generic figures!  Off-hand I can’t remember the last time a HeroClix expansion did NOT include generics that you could collect and play in multiples, but here we are.  Of course, there is the standard amount of sculpt re-use which is necessary to get full sets, only this time it’s always done on unique characters instead of any mooks.  Whether or not this affects your desire to buy multiple boosters will vary depending on what kind of collector/player you are; if you want a bunch of different characters then this set is perfect for you.  On the other hand, if you like running swarm teams then you may only want to pick up a few boosters of Rebirth.

keyword - defiance

As always, I like to go through the set and look for figures that really impress me, first with respect to sculpt and then paint.  Rebirth was a time of new and updated looks for a lot of characters, and there’s appropriately a huge range of figures from black and white Defiance members to more colorful costumes, and of course lots of interesting poses.  Some of my favorite sculpts from this set (and your opinion may vary) include Power Girl in her strong action pose with great looking hair, the stoic elegance of siblings Deimos and Phobos, Cyborg looking ready for battle with high tech armor and blast effect, Wonder Woman charging into battle with her intricate costume in full effect, Colonel Poison’s military gear, Mr. Terrific in his sweet modern costume with floating T-Spheres, the fun water-breaching pose and dynamic costume of Dolphin, fearsome Shazam and Black Adam descending with fluttering capes through lightning strikes, Bumblebee’s subtly textured wing panes and energy blasts, the hair and costume effects of wind on Cyclone along with her tornado, Black Canary performing atop her Bombshells base, “Robin” with his massive (and massively detailed) Goliath, Black Manta looking fierce while riding a cresting wave, the complete package of intricate costume, rad pose, and cool Speed Force effect on The Red Death, The Merciless with layered armor and killer helm, sheer glee and Cenobite-like costume (not to mention freaky Robin) on The Batman Who Laughs, and of course the truly fearsome Barbatos

the-flash the flash

Some of the neat poses that I feel really bring out the figures’ characters are common/uncommon Deathstroke looking deadly up close and at range, Kid Flash in an iconic speedster pose, the groovy and triumphant Prez Rickard, Super-Man flexing confidently and posing for his adoring fans, Artemis taking no crap from anyone with her gigantic axe Mistress, Adrianna Tomaz beseeching the gods and unleashing lighting, Flex Mentallo posing off on the beach with his signature halo, and the mighty smashing pose of Superman/Bizarro.  Last but not least some great sculpted textures can be found on Tempest’s Atlantean scaled armor, the feathers of Beast Boy’s eagle form, Clayface’s highly detailed skin and weapons, Black Manta’s oceanic base, the Devastator’s rocky skin protrusions, Barbatos’ wings and energy effects, and more.

batman the batman who laughs

Matching the great sculpts is a set full of neat paint jobs throughout, and again I’ll make note of a few of them here (but you should check out the figures yourself!).  I really like common Jericho and Power Girl for their sophisticated mainly black and white costumes with subtle details including perfect eyes on Deathstroke’s son, Duke Thomas with nicely contrasting clothes and great Robin logo, Aqualad and the prominent Atlantean symbols on his costume, Wonder Woman in battle armor, Billy Batson with a newspaper that proclaims the World Team Champs’ win, the shiny armor and intricate tattoos on Tempest, the clean lines and contrasting black and white with red accents of Mr. Terrific’s costume, Dolphin who just looks great, Shade, the Changing Girl’s technicolor jacket, Black Canary’s retro hairdo and dress, the not so subtle body hair on manly Flex Mentallo, great evil versions of classic costumes on The Batman Who Laughs and his sidekick Robin, and Barbatos with his dark features and glaring chest symbol. 

keyword - secret society of super-villains

Translucent plastic is used to the usual effect on flight launches and energy as seen on both Terra figures, speed blurs on all of the speedsters (except The Flash, strangely enough), Aqualad’s hard water swords, Cyborg’s blast effect, the space between Mr. Terrific’s hovering T-Spheres, the transition between eagle and gorilla on Beast Boy, Bumblebee’s wings and blasts, Cyclone’s cyclone, Adrianna Tomaz’s lighting, water bases on Aquaman, Black Manta, and Dolphin, Red Hood’s pistol muzzle blasts, more energy on Starfire, Jessica Cruz, The Murder Machine, and The Dawnbreaker, Lex Luthor’s Kryptonian weaponry, Flex Mentallo’s “hero halo,” and more.  Likewise, metallic paints show up mainly on armor and weapons from Deathstroke’s sword to Duke Thomas’ nunchuks, Wonder Woman’s sword and shield, Cyborg’s body, Mr. Terrific’s T-Spheres, Artemis’ axe Mistress, Aquaman’s trident, Mister Oz’s scythe, etc.


It’s always interesting to look at HeroClix expansion sets and see where things are going with new or returning mechanics, trends in abilities, etc.  Rebirth has a lot of what we’ve come to expect in recent expansions with things like Prime figures, a smattering of Improved Movement and Targeting abilities, a wild dial (Dolphin), the recently added uncopyable wild card team ability Team Player, and some bystander generation with Mr. Terrific’s T-Spheres and The Batman Who Laughs’ Robin.  Returning here are also some traits that were introduced in previous DC HeroClix sets: Lady Vic’s “Only Six Of Us?” from the Secret Six, Commander Steel’s JSA “A Simpler Time,” Black Canary’s “Bombshell” from the DC Bombshells, and the utilization of Speed Force tokens on Kid Flash and Deathstroke

keyword - teen titans

New for Rebirth are quite a few shared traits including “Remember, We’re Getting Paid” (Deathstroke, Ravager – healing from KO’ing), “Remember, We’re The Good Guys!” (Defiance – healing from attacking without KO’ing), “Titans Reborn” (Teen Titans – using the Teen Titans TA for free after moving), “Leading The Charge” (Justice League – the first figure to attack and hit in a turn grants allies a special bonus, different for each figure), “Ministry of Self-Reliance” (Justice League of China – protection from Outwit and Perplex but only from non-Justice League of China figures), “Dark Trinity” (Red Hood, Bizarro, Artemis – +1 to attack for each Outlaws adjacent to the target), “Super Sons” (Superboy, Robin – use uncopyable team abilities of allies within 4 squares), and “Reckless Disregard For Life” and “We Will Not Hide In The Shadows Anymore” (Dark Knights – additional splash damage and protection from enemy attacks).  There are also a couple similar traits preventing figures from KO’ing opponents with Red Hood’s “Strict Rule From Batman… No Killing” and The Flash’s “Heroes Don’t Kill.”

059a superman1

Next up let’s check out some of the other fun, crazy, and downright game-breaking traits utilized by figures in the Rebirth expansion!  I like common Terra’s “Insert Rock-Based Power Pun Here” giving her Barrier that helps the defense of her friends near it, The Signal’s “The Day Shift” that turns on the lights by granting him Improved Targeting ignoring hindering terrain and turning off Stealth for all characters (even his allies!), “Focus My Qi Where I Need It Most” that lets Super-Man buff one of his stats each turn (+2 if he began the game on his 150 point line), uncommon Terra’s “Traitor” to switches sides when KO’d, uncommon Power Girl’s “Larger Than Life” that grants Super Strength and the ability to grow in size and power, Prime Citizen Steel’s silver bullet against Colossal Retaliation with “To Fight Gog” preventing the placement of colossals nearby, Tempest’s “Water Wizard – Freeze It Or Boil It?” is free Smoke Cloud that places water markers AND he can hurt enemies who occupy water terrain, “Yeah.  He Does That.” lets Batman disappear, Black Adam’s “Swiftness of Heru” joining Super Senses with the ability to move d6 squares for free each turn, Beast Boy’s “My Parents Turned Me Into A Green Monkey To Cure Me, Now Here We Are” that lets him pick a different animal (with different power sets) each turn, “A Touch Of Madness” that lets Shade, the Changing Girl switch an attack targeting her to an enemy figure when she succeeds at Shape Change, Aquaman’s “I Don’t ‘Talk To Fish’” giving him free triple-target Mind Control out to 8 squares but only against Swim figures, Bat-Man making use of his sidekick with “The Rocket Arms Of Robinbot” that grants Flight, Toughness, and longer range but which goes away after making an enhanced range attack, Lex Luthor’s “You Thought I Wouldn’t Prepare For That? Ridiculous” combining Outwit with the chance to protect his allies against enemy uses of the power, an “Underground Assault” that gives Superman a rare burrowing power, and The Dawnbreaker’s  “Nightmare Constructs” that lets him freely generate more powerful versions of bystanders created by his enemies.

068 barbatos1

Just as fun and interesting are the special powers scattered among the figures, really differentiating them and replicating the abilities of characters and equipment in the comics.  Again, here’s just a small sampling of the cool powers in this set: Nightwing’s “Does Your Utility Belt Still Have A Fax Machine Too?” grants Leadership and a choice each turn between a range of useful powers, Veronica Cale’s “Crush Wonder Woman And Her Legacy” gives her Outwit and Perplex plus greatly empowered versions of both of those when used against Deities, Billy Batson does the familiar transformation (if you have this set’s appropriate rare handy) with “Shazam!”, “Relax… It Hurts More If You Try To Resist It” gives Colonel Poison… Poison that does penetrating damage AND inflicts Battle Fury along with immunity to Poison and the ability to give allies Battle Fury, Raven’s “Traveling Through My Soul-Self” that turns her into a super taxi with Phasing/Teleport, Stealth, and the ability to carry three friends sharing a keyword regardless of their ability to fly, The Flash’s “At Peace With The Speed Force” that trades in the typical Hypersonic Speed for Flurry, Sidestep, and Phasing/Teleport that comes with a free close action at the end if he didn’t move too far, “Regenerative Armor From Apokolips” that gives Lex Luthor Impervious and limits damage taken to 1 for the first attack hitting him each turn, Mister Oz’s “Intercept The Projection” letting you hijack enemy Telekinesis and move figures place that way, Jessica Cruz’s “Free From The Fear Of Volthoom” combining Shape Change with the ability to turn off an ally’s Battle Fury, and finally on Barbatos “End Your Stories, One By One” providing potentially massive healing with Steal Energy combined with the ability to make close attacks against any and all adjacent enemies and “So Falls The Realm Of Light” that saddles nearby enemies who can use Outwit, Perplex, or Support with Battle Fury!


As always, WizKids has some cool additional products alongside the main expansion set, and for Rebirth that includes a Release Day Organized Play prize kit featuring a new double-sided battle map (Metal Arena and Titan Tower) and an exclusive prize figure.  It’s none other than Mr. Terrific, a figure with the same sculpt as the uncommon version but with a new paint job (reversing the black and white sections on his costume) and a different dial emphasizing the “fair play” aspect of the character.  And while you’ll need to find a participating venue to get a chance to win that figure, anyone can purchase the Rebirth Fast Forces set, a standalone, non-blind pack featuring new dials for Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Super-Man, and Bat-Man.  This interesting lineup features point costs that make for super easy team building (each one can be played at 100 or 50 points), a shared keyword among all six (Justice League International), and unique traits that give them bonuses for playing together (Aquaman and Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Flash, Super-Man and Bat-Man).

keyword - justice league

There you have it, a complete look at the new DC HeroClix Rebirth expansion!  All of the above is out and available now, with boosters as well as the Fast Forces pack for sale at your local comic book or game store and the Release Day OP Kit at participating venues for prize support.  I think any DC Comics fan is going to find a lot to be excited about in this set, whether or not you were reading many of the books in the Rebirth era.  This set has tons of popular characters, great villains, lots of characters making their HeroClix debuts, and one of the coolest chase themes I’ve seen in a while.  Check out the photos of every single figure as well as group shots and get your Rebirth HeroClix now.  Good luck on your pulls!

Visit the new and improved for even more info as well as downloads of the current rules, and check regularly as we continue our reviews of new HeroClix!

Review and photos by Scott Rubin

Review samples courtesy of WizKids Games


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